It’s the start of summer in South Africa and that stainless steel bracelet is making your wrist feel uncomfortable and sweaty (The leather band isn’t so lovely either). What you need is a stylish solution worn by British spies and watch enthusiasts alike.
You need a Nato strap.
What is a Nato strap?
The Nato strap wasn’t developed by the defense alliance of the same name but rather the British Ministry of Defence. (The Nato name came from its stock number.) The design of the strap is perfect for rugged conditions. It’s a one-piece strap that slides underneath the case so that the skin never touches metal. It’s great on hot days because the nylon wicks moisture away from the skin. It also means the strap will stay on the wrist even if a spring bar pops out.
The real beauty of the Nato is its simplicity. It’s inexpensive (though fancier leather variants exist), infinitely adjustable, available in dozens of colors and patterns, and is extremely comfortable on the wrist.
The James Bond connection
Whether it’s an Aston Martin, a vodka martini, or a Rolex Submariner—an association with the James Bond franchise makes a product all the more desirable. And how did the most iconic Bond (Sean Connery) in his most iconic movie (1964’s Goldfinger) wear his Rolex? On a Nato strap, as any self-respecting British naval commander would.
The strap only features in the movie for a split-second but it was enough to cement the diver’s watch/Nato combination as a classic look.
What watch can I wear it with?
The humble Nato doesn’t care about the social standing or bank balance of its owner. It looks just as good on a $40 Timex Weekender as it does on a $5,000 Omega Speedmaster. It even fits perfectly with sportier haute horlogerie pieces like the Patek Philippe Aquanaut.
Where can I buy a Nato?
Amazon and Ebay are the best options if you live in the US and Europe.
In South Africa the largest variety of Nato’s are available on our sister site lugtolug.co.za
Nato’s range in price from about R150 up to about R2500 for the fancy Omega Nato’s.